New home building activity for most types of housing, including single family homes, is falling short in about two thirds of 146 metropolitan markets in the U.S., resulting, of course, in the number of homes for sale. This has resulted in upward pressure on home prices and decreased affordability in many areas of the U.S.
In addition to the shortage of new homes, there are still millions of homes that are "underwater", or where the mortgage debt is more than what the home is worth. Generally, these homes are not put on the market for sale. Not generally known, even to most realtors, is that the institutional investor organizations that had made massive cash house purchases the past several years cannot unload their inventory quickly, as that would put downward pressure on prices. These organizations are finding ways to get a number of their properties unloaded without hitting the MLS, through backdoor paths.
According the the NAR, in June 2015 the median single-family home price was $236,400, compared to $230,400 peak during the housing bubble in July 2006. Renters are feeling the inflation of rent prices, as rental rates are up 4% compared to income levels up 2% on a nation-wide basis.
While these statistics are not good for home buyers or renters, they may be good for investors in the right markets. Are we in another bubble? The right question to ask is: "what are the price trends in my market of interest?"